'''Mary Boykin Chesnut''' (née Miller) (March 31, 1823 – November 22, 1886), was a South Carolina
author noted for a book published as her Civil War diary, a "vivid picture of a society in the throes of its life-and-death struggle."Woodward, C. Vann. "Introduction", Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut, ''Mary Chesnut's Civil War'', 1981. She described the war from within her upper-class circles of Southern Planter (American South)|planter
society, but encompassed all classes in her book. She was married to a lawyer who served as a United States senator
and Confederate States of America|Confederate
officer. Unlike her husband, Mary secretly held anti-slavery views.
Chesnut worked toward a final form of her book in 1881–1884, based on her extensive diary written during the war years. It was published in 1905, 19 years after her death. New versions were published after her papers were discovered, in 1949 by the novelist Ben Ames Williams
, and in 1981 by...